SPECIAL invitations encouraging families to celebrate Christmas at church this year are set to be delivered to nearly 140,000 Cumbrian homes.

The colourful cards will hit doormats from Monday December 3.

They form part of a Yuletide campaign which includes radio adverts broadcast on the county’s commercial stations from today.

God for All Big Reach Enabler, Eleanor Ledesma, is overseeing the appeal as part of her role to connect with the 480,000 people in Cumbria.

She said: "It was important that we were able to throw the invitation out to as many different people as possible across the county."

Eleanor believed the postal invites would add weight to the radio campaign because they will reach a different audience.

"We’ve specifically aimed at postcode areas which have a high percentage of families living there," she said "It’s exciting to think that 138,000 households across Cumbria will be receiving a card in their post.

"Jesus’ birth means the Christmas message is one of hope and joy and as Christians we’re really keen to put that back on people’s agendas.

"Some people may be excited about Christmas while for others it could be a sad time – this is all about letting people know we are there for them and there’s a church they can go to."

The festive mailshot has been made possible through a partnership between the Diocese of Carlisle – the Church of England in Cumbria – and the Royal Mail.

Meanwhile, for a second year, radio adverts encouraging church attendance at Christmas will be broadcast on commercial stations CFM, Heart and Smooth from today until lunchtime on Christmas Day.

The thirty second ads feature a mother and father who convey the magic of experiencing Christmas at church.

It’s a renewed push to encourage mums, dads and children to go to church and it comes only weeks after Cumbria’s 2017 Christmas church attendance figures revealed a five year high.

Eleanor said that it's all about reinforcing the message that everyone is always welcome at church.

"It’s also something we’re looking to further expand in the New Year with further adverts to be scheduled in throughout 2019."

The adverts are also being trialled for the first time on the Digital Audio Exchange, meaning people in Cumbria could hear them when they listen to podcasts, online radio and services such as Soundcloud.

And a video produced for the 2017 campaign, featuring congregation members from St Thomas’ Parish, Kendal talking about why they love attending church at Christmas, will also be posted on the 'Church at Christmas' Facebook page.

The video was viewed by 122,000 people last year.